It was a little bundle of purple that caught the attention of one Albuquerque police officer as his spotlight crossed the dark, empty parking lot.
It was Caraline Leon-Alcocar, the 3-year-old girl who had been missing for more than four frigid hours after a thief jumped into her mother’s car and sped away with the toddler still buckled up inside.
Albuquerque police and dozens of volunteers launched a frantic search Saturday night after the car was found abandoned and the girl was not inside. It was dark, the temperatures were dropping and police had no leads.
Officer Chris Poccia spotted the girl around 1 a.m. Sunday. She was sitting on a parking block, wrapped in her purple jacket with arms folded across her chest and a hood covering her head. She wasn’t moving.